An essay on the state of England in relation to its trade, its poor, and its taxes, for carrying on the present war against France by John Cary, merchant in Bristoll.
Cary, John, d. 1720?
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TO THE KING's Most Excellent MAJESTY.

May it please Your Majesty,

IT is not a Desire to appear in Print hath made me to write, or a fond Opinion of what I have written, to affix Your Great Name to these Papers, but a true Affection to my Native Country, and the Cause Your Majesty is now ng ag'd in; A War, on whose good Success depends the Securi∣ty of Religion, Liberty, and Pro∣perty, both to Your own Subjects, Page  [unnumbered] and likewise to all the Protestant Interest in Europe; A War, as it is absolutely necessary, and must be carried on with Vigour, so it is like to be long and chargeable, and so much longer, as we abate in Our Vigorous Prosecution; A War, which may strain the Nerves and Sinews of our Treasure before it be ended, and therefore as in Mar∣tial Discipline great Wisdom must be used to secure those Posts where the Enemy bends most of his Forces, so here 'tis Prudence to strengthen our Treasure, by advan∣cing and securing our Trade which must bring it in; If this was done, Taxes would be easily paid, and little felt, and without it this Na∣tion will at last become Bankrupt, when its Expences exceed its Pro∣fits.

The Foundations of the Wealth of this Kingdom are, Land, Ma∣nufactures,Page  [unnumbered] and Foreign Trade, these are its Pillars, which ought not to be overshaken, they have hi∣therto borne the Burthen, and felt the Smart of the War, and 'tis time now they should slide their Necks out of the Collar, other ways may be found out to raise a greater Summ annually than Your Majesty's Occasions will require, without Four Shillings per Pound on the first, Excises on the second, or a Tunnage Bill on Ships on the last, an Act which lighted heavy on the Merchant, and left no room to consider whither he gained or lost by the Voyage, or whither the Ship returned home full or empty.

The Methods for Raising Mo∣ney must be easie, when the annu∣al necessary Summs are to be so great, therefore it would be Poli∣cy in our Law-makers to make use Page  [unnumbered] of those which may least hurt any part of our Vitals, such as Land and Trade are; I mean that part of Trade which is useful to the Pub∣lick God, not that which is ma∣naged only for private Men's Ad∣vantage; it may be possible to rate the Trader, and yet to spare the Trade.

There are two things which seem to be of great Importance to this Nation, and very necessary to be look'd into.

First, The better securing our Plantation Trade, so as it may more absolutely depend on this King∣dom than it hath hitherto done; this will not only encourage our Navigation, when all their Product shall be imported hither, but also much advance Your Majesty's Re∣venues, when such quantities of To∣bacco shall not be carried thence di∣rectly to foreign Markets; to prevent which, and secure Your Majesty's Page  [unnumbered] Duties when Imported, plain and practicable Methods may be pro∣posed; and the Consequence there∣of would be, that this Kingdom being the Mistress of that Commo∣dity, Your Majesty's Coffers would be filled, not only from its Home Expence, but also by a Tribute raised from Foreign Nations, where it would very much lie in Your Majesty's Power to set its Price; I do not think new Imposts upon the Importer will so much advance Your Majesty's Revenue as they will discourage the Merchant, 'twould be better to take away those already laid, and instead thereof to raise a far greater Summ on the Consumer, which may be done without the Clog or Oppres∣sion of Officers, in such a manner, that it shall scarce be felt, either by the Retailer or Spender.

The next thing is the securing our Wool at Home, and making Page  [unnumbered] this a Market for all the Wool of Christendom, whereby England would soon become the Queen of Europe, and flourishing in its Manufactures grow Rich by the Labour of its People, and consequently might better afford to import Commo∣dities to be spent on Luxury; I take it to be one great Reason why the Kingdom of Spain still continues poor notwithstanding its Indies, be∣cause all that the Inhabitants buy is purchased for its full Value in Treasure or Product, their Labour adding nothing to its Wealth, for want of Manufactures; I am apt to think greater Steps may be made in this than have hitherto been done, and our Wool may be kept at home, not by punishing the Ex∣porter with Death, but by apt Methods to prevent his doing it; and when a Lock is put on Ireland and Rumny-Marsh, Foreign Coun∣trys Page  [unnumbered] will more easily be prevailed on to send us theirs.

These things seem worth the Consideration of the ensuing Par∣liament, a great many Members of the last to my certain Know∣ledge began to be much in Love with Trade, and have often lament∣ed the dark Notions That House had of it, for want of being put into a better Light by those who ought to have represented it truly to them.

Which hath been a great Induce∣ment to me in the writing this Tract, that I might set forth the Interest of England in Relation to its Domestick and Foreign Traffick, and how both may be better impro∣ved to the Advantage of the Nation.

King Solomon, who was pleased to encourage Trade in his Domi∣nions by his Royal Example, soon found it to be the weightiest Jew∣el Page  [unnumbered] in his Dyadem, bringing him in more Treasure from abroad, than all the Tribute he received from Judea; The Trade of this Kingdom hath always been a pro∣fitable Ornament to the Crowns of Your Royal Predecessors, Kings and Queens of this Realm, and it may be still so to Your Maje∣sty's, if the Causes of its languish∣ing were inquired into, and apt Methods applyed for its Recovery.

That it may please God to make this Nation happy, by giving Your Majesty a long Life, crown'd with Victories over the Enemies of its Peace and Tranquility, is the Pray∣er of

Your Majesty's most Faithful, And most Obedient Subject, John Cary.